"Forest Service Use of Sustainable Standards in Building Design and "
Forest Washington 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Service Office Washington, DC 20250 File Code: 7110 Date: March 31, 2011 Route To: Subject: Forest Service Use of Sustainable Standards in Building Design and Construction To: Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director, Deputy Chiefs and WO Directors The Forest Service is committed to encouraging sustainable building construction and performance throughout the Nation. My goal is to facilitate sustainable Forest Service buildings that incorporate sustainable wood products. To this end, clarification is needed on Agency policy that wood sourced from domestic sources, including National Forest System land, is the preferred green building material for Forest Service buildings and facilities. In pursuit of this, it is important to begin by reaffirming that the Forest Service will continue to fully support Executive Order (E.O.) 13514—Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. This E.O. indicates that it is the policy of the United States that Federal agencies shall increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and stormwater management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution; leverage Agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products, and services; and design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations. In execution of this E.O., the Agency has a number of green building certification schemes to choose from including the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, Green Globes, and others. The Agency already has an impressive track record with 11 LEED certified buildings on the books in 10 states. A complete listing is enclosed. Through life-cycle analysis, Forest Service research has documented the environmental benefits from using wood products. For example, research studies have shown that fossil fuel consumption, potential contributions to greenhouse gas emissions, and quantities of solid waste tend to be less for manufacturing and use of wood than for consumption products. As such, in continuing and strengthening our commitment to green building, I am asking that the Forest Service commit to preferentially use wood while maintaining our commitment to third party certification in green building construction. And further, I strongly encourage all Forest Service construction projects to be designed and constructed with domestically harvested wood products, ideally locally sourced and from National Forest System lands, where ever practicable and feasible. Wood sourced from Forest Service lands should be considered sustainable thanks to the safeguards provided by Federal statute under the National Forest Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and others. It is important to recognize that we should be using wood sourced from National Forest System lands where we can. America’s Working Forests – Caring Every Day in Every Way Printed on Recycled Paper Regional Foresters, Station Directors, Area Director, IITF Director, Deputy 2 Chiefs and WO Directors As the U.S. Department of Agriculture updates their policy and direction related to green building, the Forest Service will work in conjunction with USDA to continue our commitment to the LEED and other green building systems’ design, while emphasizing the use of wood as a green building material. It is important that we improve recognition of the life-cycle contributions presented by a sustainable wood building and forest products industry. Our goal is to increase our ability to support the use of sustainably grown, domestically produced wood products, including wood from the national forests. /s/ Thomas L. Tidwell THOMAS L. TIDWELL Chief Enclosure cc: Kurt Gernerd Lou Leibbrand Jim Reaves